Friday, February 3, 2012


I don't want to sit next to him on the bus and hear about "those people" on "those bus lines" going into "those neighborhoods" because I know some of "those people" and I've even hung out in some of "those neighborhoods" because the places that "those buslines" go to may not be as nice as where I live, but there are good people there too that I love deeply. I wonder if I should invest in headphones, not so much maybe to listen to tunes so much as to tune out unwanted interactions.

I come home to peacefulness, awakening to a second wind, of no longer being in thrall to a computer screen  under the cold flourescent glow, of changing into old jeans and the comfortable grungy layers of baggy t-shirt, thermal, hoodie, flannel, to take a walk to accomplish sundry errands as the sun sets, and curling up on the couch once more with reheated leftovers, the theological writings of Hans Kung, and the Screaming Trees on the stereo, to spend the evening playing guitar, rediscovering the fretboard, and painting.

I know that we're all selfish by nature, but I fear the ease with which self-absorption comes when living alone. I vacillate between relishing the solitude and the peace of returning to my own domain, of not having to step on anyone's toes, the ability to create that flourishes when I'm alone most often. I have neighbors above and below but no roommates anymore, and I realized how for years I've lived this constant tiptoe dance of consideration and maintaining the equilibrium, which are good things, but how so often I excused their unreasonableness and took undue culpa upon myself.

I do, however, miss the sense of community that comes from shared space, of the cross-pollination of each others' friendships, of eating dinner with someone else, sharing the leftover riches after work functions, the ways that my world cracked open and broadened so naturally during those years because of everyone who crossed our doorstep. We felt safer because we knew that someone would notice if we went missing, we could invite people up without it being weird, and being able to mutually vent after stressful work weeks was cathartic. I miss these things, even when there were times I wished everyone would just go away, or maybe one of them felt that way. I miss the sharing profoundly.

One of my friends, a more idealistic soul who gets arrested in front of the White House and invites me to events that involve watching documentaries, wants to do the communal living Dorothy Day kind of thing with some other younger folk, which I think is wonderful, I really do. If it was the medieval times, I probably would have ended up in a convent, due to my ambivalence about coupling, and I love to see people come together with their resources and visions. I just can't bring myself to do it now. Comfort? Complacency? Attempting to maintain my sanity after a crazy season of life? Fear of the drama that inevitably comes when we become too familiar? I'm against rugged individualism in theory but in my own domain, it's what I practice, and that bothers me.



  2. When you post serious, 'tis hard to snark. Dammit, it's all about you, isn't it, you you you. (hey, that wasn't hard).

    Short version: though I've known pretty much only the opposite, even if the sentiments or experiences or insert phrase here are different, the dynamic remains the same, i.e. too much of one isn't the healthiest thing for the brain, soul, spirit, bones, bloodstream, but that's true of most things, isn't it.